Another Eclipse Is Coming This Week


The second solar eclipse in six months is coming later this week.

The partial solar eclipse will be visible in Antarctica and a sliver of southern South America, experts say. Skygazers in Uruguay, Argentina, southern Chile, far western Paraguay, far southern Brazil and Antarcteca can see the celestial event on Thursday, Feb. 15 for up to about two hours, according to Ernie Wright, a programmer in the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

What will we see during the partial solar eclipse?

You won’t be able to notice much about Thursday’s partial solar eclipse, even if you live in Antarctica and the parts of South America where it is visible, according to Wright, who added there’s no change in the light on Earth. “For most people, this is a really marginal event,” he told TIME on Monday. “If you didn’t know it was happening, you wouldn’t even notice it.”

While a partial solar eclipse is not nearly as remarkable as a total solar eclipse  keen spectators wearing the proper protective eyewear will be able to notice a change in the sun’s shape. 

Photo courtesy NASA’s Ernie Wright

What is a partial solar eclipse?

A partial solar eclipse happens when the moon only blocks a portion of the sun. It’s different from a total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon completely blocks the sun, momentarily engulfing some areas on Earth in sudden darkness. The U.S. experienced a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, which made history for being the first total solar eclipse seen only in the United States since the nation’s birth in 1776.